02 November 2016

The Muskrat Circus rolls back into town #nlpoli

Stan Marshall appeared out of the shadows on Tuesday to do a round of interviews with every media outlet in town.

He told NTV what he told everyone else:  the cost of the protests and the environmental work coming from the agreement that ended the protests will slow the project and cost money.  Stan also said something that is true but that upset a lot of people.  We don't know for sure that the clearing  called for under the agreement will actually reduce the methylmercury output from the project.

In the CBC version of his interview, Marshall acknowledged that the folks at Nalcor hadn't always done a good job of explaining what was going on with the project.  Marshall pointed out something that is both undeniable and true:  lots of people involved in the protests really had no idea what methylmercury was. They were legitimately afraid but they were afraid of the unknown.

The public reaction to Marshall's comments haven't been all that good, but frankly that's really just a confirmation of what he said and about what your humble e-scribbler said about how we have collectively made decisions about this project.
Time will tell if Marshall's interview causes lasting problems but there is no question there's been an immediate stir.  So concerned was the Premier's Office that they issued a statement confirming the government was still committed to the agreement signed last week after a marathon meeting. That's a sure sign there's a bit of a disconnect between Nalcor and the 8th Floor in the messaging about the project.

But the need to issue a statement is also a sign there's a bit of a disconnect - even if only in people's heads - between the political deal reached on the clearing and the construction of the project. Compare Stan's one-on-one interviews with Dwight's... okay, try and find a one-on-one interview Dwight Ball has done in the past six months and then compare it to Stan Marshall.  You get the point.  Well,  just to really get the point, understand that the Premier's Office is obviously aware of the relative weakness of their guy.  That's why they issued a statement that said - in so many words - Dwight is in charge here and the deal he signed is still the law of the land.

And if that wasn't bad enough,  consider the other big bomb Stan dropped.  We need to get this project done,  according to Stan Marshall. We will never get our money back on it and the only thing we can do is finish it for the lowest cost possible.

This is hardly good for the government crowd and for Dwight Ball personally, such a statement must suck the load big time. Ball and Marshall have always been at odds over this project.  Ball has always supported it and Stan has always know it was insane.

How much suckage are we talking here?  Well, remember that back in December 2012,  Ball tweeted this after the filibuster on Muskrat Falls:
@DwightBallMHA MF has dominated my life since election 2011. Could always support the principles of MF. It's been a fantastic week #nlpoli
Consumers in the province were always the only people to pay for it.  That's one of the reasons why we would never get our money back. Now Stan has confirmed what Dwight - and every other politician in the province in 2012 - never understood.